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Durham University


Doctorate Extension Scheme Term & Conditions

Your Entitlements and Responsibilities under the Doctorate Extension Scheme and the University Sponsor Obligations under Tier 4 (General) of the Points Based Immigration System

Your Certificate of Acceptance of Sponsorship (CAS) for the Doctorate Extension Scheme will be issued on the basis that you agree to abide by the immigration requirements and terms and conditions that apply under the Home Office Doctorate Extension Scheme.

The following terms must be fully met in order for Durham University to act as your Tier 4 sponsor under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Before you submit your Doctorate Extension Application

  1. You must be following a course leading to the award of a PhD or completing a doctorate level programme specified within the Doctorate Extension Scheme requirements.
  2. You must be in the UK and have valid Tier 4 leave to study a PhD or Doctorate level programme OR you must have valid immigration leave that will entitles you to make a Tier 4 application from within the UK
  3. You must not have previously been granted leave under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.
  4. You must have had your viva and be in position to submit your visa application within 60 days AND before the expected end date confirmed on the Doctorate Extension scheme CAS AND before the date that you receive your pass list.
  5. You must submit your DES application from within the UK, before your current leave to remain expires. You will not be issued with a new CAS to carry out minor corrections to your thesis.
  6. You will take responsibility for making a valid immigration application under the Doctorate Extension Scheme which includes submitting your Tier 4 application before the expected end date assigned to the CAS for the Doctorate Extension Scheme course AND before your pass list is published AND before your Tier 4 visa expires.
  7. You must have the written consent from any official sponsor to remain in the UK under this scheme where you have been fully or partially funded by an official sponsor (e.g. international scholarship agency, government body, educational institution).
  8. You must have the required financial evidence to show that you have can meet the Home Office financial requirements for this scheme, (currently £2030 in your account as minimum balance in your account for 28 consecutive days).
  9. You must agree to fulfil your responsibilities under this scheme and understand the obligations that the University must take as your sponsor under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

After you have submitted your Application

  1. Please email us a scanned copy of your visa application documents checklist which confirms that you have posted your Tier 4 (DES) visa application.
  1. When you receive your Doctorate Extension visa you must promptly provide the Student Immigration Office (SIO) of the University with a copy of your passport and your Doctorate Extension visa. You should email us a scanned copy and ask for this to be added to your Doctorate Extension records.
  1. In the event that your Doctorate Extension application is deemed to be invalid or refused by the Home Office, you must email us a copy of the Home Office letter
  1. Please note that immigration requirements do not allow you to submit a further application under the Doctorate Extension Scheme. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet all of the Home Office application requirements before submitting you application.

Whilst holding your Doctorate Extension Visa, you will be required to fulfil the DES monitoring requirements - Failure to do this will result in your DES visa being curtailed.

Responsibilities and Obligations of Durham University

Durham University reserves the right to decline the sponsorship of a student under the Doctorate Extension Scheme, where a student has an outstanding debt with the university which is in excess of £2000.

The University is required to monitor all sponsored PhD students who apply for a CAS under the Doctorate Extension scheme. We are required to have contact with you whilst you remain in the UK and must ensure you are adhering to the conditions of this visa.

If the University finds you are not meeting the conditions of this visa or you do not respond to communication from us, we will be obliged to report this to the Home Office. The Home Office will then curtail your visa and you will be expected to leave the UK.

Monitoring your employment activity is a requirement of the Home Office and will normally be carried out electronically. However, the University reserves the right to request that you return to Durham at any time to confirm what you have been doing since you received your DES visa.

Please remember that is your responsibility to check your email on a regular basis and respond promptly to any correspondence from us. Failure to do this could result in your sponsorship being withdrawn.

Durham University is also required to report the following to the Home Office.

  • Confirmation and the date that you have successfully completed your course.
  • If you fail your course are awarded a qualification lower than doctorate level.
  • You miss a scheduled contact with us.
  • The University has reason to believe you are breaching the conditions of your leave.
  • You are no longer participating in the scheme or, if you decide to permanently leave the UK (note: you are permitted to temporarily leave and re-enter the UK on this visa).
  • If you decide to stop participating in this visa scheme or change to another visa category.
  • If the University withdraws sponsorship.

Your entitlements under the Doctorate Extension Scheme

  • Once you have applied under this scheme and your visa has been processed you will be able to remain in the UK for up to 12 months to find skilled work.
  • Your entitlement to work under the DES conditions will commence from the date that your pass list is issued. The University SIFSO Office will notify the Home Office and email you, to confirm the date that you successfully passed your PhD and, will confirm that your right to work under DES will commence from this date.
  • You are able to work for an employer or be self-employed. It is not possible to be employed as a Doctor or Dentist in training or as professional sportsperson (including coaches) in this category.
  • When your new visa is issued (in the form of a Biometrics Residence Permit), it will confirm that you are a Tier 4 (General) student on the Doctorate Extension Scheme and are permitted to work full-time. The conditions of your leave will be set out in full in the approval letter the UKBA will send you.
  • If you wish to take up a permanent vacancy whilst your application is being processed, then a prospective employer can seek verification from the Home Office Employer Checking Service
  • If you wish to be joined by dependants, who are currently overseas, your family members can apply for entry clearance under the established rules for Tier 4 dependants. Dependants who are already in the UK can stay, providing they meet the rules.
  • In the event that your application is unsuccessful, or if you do not passyour programme, the University will withdraw your sponsorship with immediate effect.